My three year old is quite something. Years ago her older sister had struggled with self esteem and body image and so I had made a deliberate point of boosting them. One of the things I used to do was encourage her to look in the mirror and see and say how beautiful she was. Her African shaped (big, as she would put it) derriere was one of her issues and so I would pass the full length mirror in our living room, pat my own African shaped bum and say ‘gorgeous’. Soon enough my daughter was doing the same; I was teaching her to love her body.
‘What is wrong with the women in this house?!’ I heard my husband shout out to me one day.
‘What happened?’ I asked as I approached the living room.
‘They just keep walking past the mirror, patting their bums and saying ‘gorgeous’’ he said, exasperated.
I reassured him that this was fine, I had instigated it and it was all for good reason. Even though he had used the plural I kind of assumed he was referring to me and my older daughter. While we were still discussing it, my then 18 month old, still in nappies, walked through the sitting room, stopped at the mirror, patted her bum and said ‘beautiful’ and walked on by to wherever it was she was heading.
Yes, my younger daughter was born into this and did not know the history associated with this self love. Seeing it as the norm, she just joined in.
Today, aged three, she still walks past the mirror and stops to tell herself how beautiful she is. I love it!
100% human. Beware, your actions speak real loud!